Another candidate is getting into the Marco Rubio-Ted Cruz feud over the NSA metadata program. Chris Christie was asked about Ted Cruz's vote to abolish the program in an interview this morning on MSNBC..
The MSNBC host asked, "Is Ted Cruz's position, and Rand Paul's position, on collecting metadata made America less safe?"
"Yes," said Christie, "and I said it at the time."
"So Ted Cruz has made America less safe?"
"Sure he has," said Christie. "He went for the easy political vote. At a time when it looked like it was kind of a popular thing to do. With all those dead Parisians it doesn't look anymore.Read more
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore will release his next movie in September in Toronto. Moore made the announcement on the Twitter live-streaming service Periscope. It'll premier at the Toronto Film Festival:
President Obama called French president Francois Hollande to tell him he's not listening to his calls.Read more
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders railed against the NSA and corporate privacy concerns this morning in an apeparance on NBC's Meet the Press.Read more
While the country slept Friday night and into Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate debated and voted on whether to alter substantially the NSA’s bulk telephone meta-data collection program, extend it for a short period, or simply let it die on June 1 when the “sunset” provision governing the relevant section (Sec. 215) of the Patriot Act kicks in.Read more
Two likely Republican presidential candidates defended the PATRIOT Act and its terrorist surveillance provisions at a gathering of Republicans Friday morning. Both New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush were emphatic in their support for the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program.
Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama is "not providing the resources" to defeat the Islamic State in and that United States ought to send "a few thousand more" troops into Iraq to combat the terrorist group in that country.Read more
On Wednesday afternoon Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, began what he's calling a filibuster of the Senate's renewal of the PATRIOT Act. Here's a tweet from Paul announcing the speech:
I've just taken the senate floor to begin a filibuster of the Patriot Act renewal. It's time to end the NSA spying!— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 20, 2015
Last week, Edward Snowden came out (or was let out) of his home in liberty-loving Russia to grant an interview to John Oliver, erstwhile Comedy Central Daily Show correspondent and current host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. A few seconds in, the ever-so-earnest Snowden began to realize that Oliver, much like his mentors Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, was actually less interested in conducting a traditional interview than in needling him.Read more
Jeb Bush, a probable Republican presidential candidate, defended the "hugely important" NSA data collection program in a speech today in Chicago:
"You must be prepared for a long term commitment to fight this battle," Bush said of the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.Read more
President Barack Obama said last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island that the terrorism from ISIS "doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland." The reason? The security measures taken by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Obama.Read more
The threat to the U.S. government and U.S. businesses from foreign hackers, especially from China, has been increasingly in the news in recent months. In a little noticed WTOP interview last week, recently installed National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina expressed the threat in terms that almost seem hyperbolic:Read more
The topic of surveillance by the National Security Agency has arisen in, of all places, a House Republican primary in Kansas. Incumbent Mike Pompeo faced criticism from his challenger, former congressman Todd Tiahrt, over Pompeo's support for NSA surveillance programs. In a recent debate, Tiahrt accused Pompeo of "taking money from lobbyists and supporting the violation of the Fourth Amendment," while Pompeo replied that Tiahrt was misleading people about a program that keeps Americans safe.Read more
Yesterday, the Washington Post’s top story was another leak from NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Unlike many of the Post’s other Snowden stories, where sensationalism has greatly outweighed the reported facts about this or that NSA program, this one had more substance and less breathless analysis.Read more
President Obama has released a statement "on the Section 215 Bulk Metadata Program," saying that "Having carefully considered the available options, I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk." The statement is released by the White House wile President Obama is in Rome.Read more
Edward Snowden’s revelations about the foreign and domestic surveillance practices of the National Security Agency have inspired a great deal of anger around the world, but nowhere has the fury been stronger than in Germany. “Goodbye, Friends!” read the front page of Die Zeit last November, when it was disclosed that the NSA had monitored one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phones. Der Spiegel, which breathlessly published a report last fall alleging the U.S.Read more
In the immediate days leading up to President Obama’s January 17 speech on the National Security Agency, news stories and leaks from the White House suggested the president would largely ignore the set of overhauls that had been put forward by his own presidential review panel—Peter Baker’s New York Times front-page story, “Obama’s Path from Critic to Overseer of Spying,” is a good example. But then the president gave his speech and, while the changes he offered up were not as radical as the panel’s recommendations, he did go farther than the pre-speech spin stories led you to believe by requiring each and every search of the NSA database to have judicial approval, which is a major modification to the program.Read more
In the wake of all the “leaks” by Edward Snowden of the National Security Agency’s collection programs and the resulting debate over those programs, one constantly hears from elected officials and the commentariat about the need to strike the right balance between privacy and security. More often than not, this is followed by a suggestion that, as a country, since 9/11, we haven’t.Read more
Florida senator Marco Rubio says that "some" of President Obama's proposed changes to the way the NSA collects date "go too far."
“Our intelligence collection programs are vital tools used by the government to defend the security of the U.S. homeland. I am concerned that some of President Obama’s suggestions today go too far and may make it more difficult for the government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to keep Americans safe," reads a statement released by Rubio's Senate office.Read more
Thankfully, President Obama is not a doctor. If he was and you happened to visit him in his office and mentioned that you were worried about the potential for lung cancer, he’d immediately put you under, open you up, and pull out a lung—or, at least, that’s the logic that seems to be guiding his decisions on NSA’s collection programs. Yes, no one has found any evidence that NSA has broken the law, invaded constitutionally-protected privacy rights, or is about to. But never mind, it’s the very possibility that someday, somehow, NSA will jump the tracks that requires the president now to unduly complicate the use of what he admits has been an important counterterrorism tool.Read more
Obama: 'Our Intelligence Agencies Will Continue to Gather Information About the Intentions of Governments'
President Obama announced that U.S. intelligence will still "gather information about the intentions of governments," despite changes to the NSA programs:Read more
Not that long ago, one could assume that a judge with an activist approach to interpreting the Constitution was probably left-of-center politically and, accordingly, believed that overturning precedents was often necessary in order to make the Constitution relevant to present issues and alive to evolving democratic mores.Read more
Apparently relations between the United States and Europe are actually maturing. How else to account for the singular absence of transatlantic crisis-mongering over the many, many ways in which the Obama administration has annoyed our allies in Europe?Read more
When the “President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology” issued its report (Liberty and Security in a Changing World) this past week, an honest and objective newspaper headline the next day would have read: “Rogue Panel Reports on Non-Rogue NSA Program.”Read more
It is often remarked that espionage is the second-oldest profession. Written records from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Iran suggest that spying and civilization sprang up together. In antiquity, spies could be the hidden bureaucrats of tyranny or good governance (a ruler needed to know whether a satrap was cheating the crown and its subjects) or, less often, camouflaged itinerants writing home about the machinations of rival city-states, empires, or barbarian tribes. In modern times, espionage went Orwellian, becoming primarily a tool to buttress police states.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.